Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

October 11, 2013

Anti-bullying groups meet by chance

MIDDLEBURY – Thursday morning 70 specially-chosen fourth and fifth graders from Heritage Intermediate were walking to Northridge High School for a swim. They were being rewarded for their stance against bullying.

     At just the same time, Ronnie Kroell and Elliot London were walking along U.S. 20 through Middlebury on a 921-mile journey from Chicago to New York to promote an anti-bullying, pro-friendship walk.

     As the students, Heritage Intermediate Principal Kari Dyer and Vice Principal Teresa Detering gathered outside the natatorium doors that face U.S. 20 the two groups met, talked and tied purple ribbons on a fence in honor of those who have lost their lives because of bullying.

     “We had no idea these gentlemen were in the area,” Principal Dyer said. “It was just a neat coincidence that in a way we were both walking for the same thing – a message of no-bullying, a message of friendship.”

     Kroell and London, co-founders of the Friend Movement began their 37-day journey on Oct. 5 and still have 800 miles to go before reaching New York City, where they will hold a candlelight vigil on Nov. 10. The two are placing a purple ribbon each mile they walk in remembrance of those whose lives ended too soon due to bullying.

     “It’s important for us to be on the ground, in the communities, changing the conversation from anti-bullying to pro-friendship.” Kroell said. “We can all find a common thread, a common bond.”

     Both Kroell and London know there is no immediate cure for the problem. But they both hope to bring awareness, enlightenment and ultimately positive empowerment to everyone facing difficult issues.

     “Bullying is not a fad. It can touch all people on all levels,” London said. “We have to find that common thread, we have to look out for each other. We are doing this to bring a voice to people.”

     Kroell and London are followed by a team of supporters including a producer, several videographers and others to document their journey.

     Even with the support, the journey has taken the two well out of their comfort zone.

     “It’s been life changing for us, we are really pushing the limits,” London said. “It’s been a little scary – not having anything planned, just walking through communities.”

     Outside that comfort zone, however, the two have found moments they will never forget.

     “We were walking through Gary and this car slowed down. They rolled the window down and asked us what we were doing,” Kroell said. “When we told them, the whole family got out of the car and helped us place purple ribbons by the side of the road.”

     London remembers talking to the owner of a restaurant in Hobart about his message of friendship.

     “We went back into the kitchen to talk with her, and she almost broke down telling us about her son being badly bullied on the bus,” London said. “We really need to think of how we can be better to each other.”

     Both Kroell and London have found that they are learning and growing along with each step they take.

     “This is the first time I’ve ever met an Amish person,” London said. “I found the kids to be so approachable. That wasn’t how I though it would be.”

     

     London praised the Middlebury School System for their positive work towards teaching students how to deal with bullying.

     Dyer congratulated the fourth and firth graders for their efforts to promote friendship.

     “Enjoy this day,” she said. “We want to acknowledge what you’ve done. We need a school full of you.”

     The Friend Movement began as an effort to honor Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers University student who three years ago took his life after a cyber-bullying attack.

     The Friend Walk is to honor all those who have taken their lives due to bullying, to bring awareness to an issue that has affected most people at some point in their lives.

     For more information visit friendmovement.com.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 120928 GHS-NR FB 05 H.S. FOOTBALL: Week 1 looks to be a scorcher GOSHEN — During the Elkhart County 4-H Fair I had a chance encounter with Bob Miller, coach of the Fairfield Falcons.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140821 Pike Street Project 2 INDOT meeting held to discuss Pike Street project GOSHEN — Major changes may be on the way for a small section of Pike Street in downtown Goshen.

    August 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0821 goshen college challenge Locals embrace ice bucket challenge It’s a challenge that has united participants with the shared sensation of an icy burst of water, sopping wet clothing and video evidence — all in the name of philanthropy.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140821 nisly complaint Complaint filed against state rep candidate Accusations of wrongdoing, in the form of a complaint to the Indiana Election Commission, have been levied against District 22 representative Republican nominee Curt Nisly.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140820 dometic groundbreaking Dometic breaks ground on significant expansion in Goshen GOSHEN — As Dometic officials gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony for the $7 million expansion of their Goshen distribution center Wednesday, the work was already underway in the background. “It’s happening right now,” said Dave Schutz, vice presi

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140821 Ignition art Plenty of good music on horizon at Ignition Several upcoming shows at Ignition Garage in Goshen were announced this week.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • City plan nearing a final draft GOSHEN — The city’s new comprehensive plan is nearing completion, and a near-final draft has now been released for public review. Goshen Plan Commission members released the draft of the city’s newly penned comprehensive plan, titled “Uncommonly Grea

    August 19, 2014

  • GN140820 Hakws building Hotel, brew pub plans progressing GOSHEN — Plans for a new boutique hotel and brew pub at the historic Hawks building in downtown Goshen continue to move ahead steadily.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140820 nappanee awards 031.jpg Nappanee mayor honors 'Spirited' youth NAPPANEE — Two Elkhart County 4-H’ers were honored by their hometown mayor during Monday’s city council meeting. Receiving the Community Spirit Award and a key to the city were Lane Flowers and Sarah Stump. Mayor Larry Thompson recognized Flowers, a

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • arlo.jpg SLIDESHOW: Pets of the Week Cats and dogs are looking for loving permanent homes at the Humane Society of Elkhart County.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
     View Results
AP Video
US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape